Tom’s Featured Tip: Mental Game – Build Confidence by Association 

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective. 

This material is from my Golf Psychology Coaching Certification course, enjoy! Tom 

“Really great people make you feel that you, too can become great” 
Mark Twain 

When Tiger became a professional, Mark O’ Meara was wise enough to act as his mentor and advisor. Mark gave tips to Tiger on the many nuances about life on tour, from what tournaments to play to where he should stay in each city to what courses may fit his game. From this mentoring, a bond of friendship was formed. As part of this friendship, Mark and Tiger would play together on their time off. Sometimes Tiger would win those friendly matches and sometimes Mark would win. 

While Tiger gained a lot from this friendship, Mark also benefited greatly. One benefit was his necessity to develop shots that will keep him in the matches with Tiger. Another benefit was the building of his confidence through his association with Tiger. To explain this principle, let’s look at what happened to Tiger in 1997. That was the year he dominated the Masters and won by a commanding 12 shots. Not only did he win in an amazing fashion, but he also broke the all-time scoring record. 

Mark witnessed this amazing victory, and probably consciously or subconsciously stated to himself a monologue such as: “Hey, I can beat this guy sometimes at home. And this guy can win the Masters and dominate the tour. Then I must have the ability to win a major.” He built his confidence by association. 

The very next year, Mark not only won the Masters, but also the British Open title. Mark’s friendship with Tiger is one of the best things that ever happened to his game. 

Today, I know the friendship of Bubba Watson and Ricky Fowler has immensely helped both, particularly Ricky. 

Confidence by association can work at any level. 

While I was consulting with a college golf team, a very good college player told a story about how he gained confidence from his association with a talented teammate. He recalled the time he beat his teammate who was one of the best college players in the country at that time. He beat him out of one dollar. But he did not spend that dollar. Instead, he posted the bill on his locker to always remind him that he beat one of the best college players in the country. The days he felt his game had left him and he was losing his confidence, he would gaze upon the dollar to remind himself of his victory over a great player. He used this dollar to build his confidence by association. 

What can a dollar buy nowadays? Plenty, if used properly. 


Love your practice, own your swing, own your health, 



Tom Tucker’s Bio

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